Law will move charter school
The Marysville Charter Academy of the Arts will move out of the Marysville Joint Unified School District office on B Street to relocatable buildings.
As of Jan. 1, charter academies can no longer be housed in buildings that are not up to seismic standards, or considered not structurally sound in the event of an earthquake.
The Field Act for Public Schools, enacted in 1933, was amended to include charter schools.
The original law was passed after a large earthquake in Long Beach either destroyed or severely damaged more than 500 schools.
The purpose of the act is to protect children and staff from death or injury in public schools grades K-14 and protect the public's investment in school buildings during and after earthquakes.
“Up until that legislation passed, charter schools could be in any building officials felt was adequate,” said Superintendent Gay Todd. “Schools can either meet that requirement or the local building code - well, this (district) building is very old, it was built in the 1920s, so it doesn't meet either of those standards.”
Todd said the district will spend between $800,000 and $1 million from a combination of funding sources to bring in 12 relocatable, brand-new classrooms along with new restrooms and office facilities and a “wet lab,” which includes sinks and places in which students can do experiments.
“They currently do not have all of that, and we'll be able to make it (Americans With Disability Act) compliant, because now it will be all on one level,” Todd explained. “In essence, they will be better equipped.”
Principal John Pimentel could not be reached for comment Tuesday.
Todd said the district looked into making a stand-alone structure, but the costs were too high.
“This is actually better, because all of the relocatables can be used at other sites, should we have to disband that school because they get a new facility,” she said. “We can take the portables to different school sites, and we have even talked about making that our next alternative school site, so they certainly would not go to waste, especially with the growth explosion in this area.”
Site prepapartion will begin around the first part of October, Todd said, and relocatables should be placed by the end of the month. The students should be in the buildings after winter break ends the first week of January.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Kymm Mann can be reached at 749-4707 or email@example.com.